Life Cycle Analysis: Explained
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a technique used to quantify the potential environmental impacts associated with a product or service throughout its life cycle.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are tools which enable transparent communication to stakeholders. LCA and EPD present comparable information about the environmental impact of of products and demonstrate to key stakeholders quantifiable benefits along a product’s value chain.
LCA’s are carried out on a wide range of products and processes taking into account:
- Supply and Transportation of of raw materials
- Fabrication of product
- Distribution of product
- Product use
- Disposal of product post use
This process is called “Cradle to Grave” assessment.
- “Cradle to cradle” assessment adopts a circular economy agenda and also accounts for recovery and reuse materials as part of the product life cycle
There are four linked components of LCA:
- Goal definition and scoping: Identifying the LCA’s purpose and the expected outcomes of the study. Determining the boundaries and assumptions (what is and is not included in the study) based on goal definition.
- Life-cycle inventory: Each stage of production is assessed to quantify the energy, raw material inputs and environmental releases associated with each stage of production.
- Impact analysis: Assessing the impacts on the environment and human health that is associated with energy and raw material inputs and environmental releases quantified by the inventory.
- Improvement analysis: Sourcing opportunities to reduce material inputs, energy, or environmental impacts at every stage of the product life-cycle.
Life-cycle assessment can be a valuable decision-support tool by demonstrating to stakeholders all quantifiable and validated benefits along a product’s value chain.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss how Life Cycle Analysis and Environmental declaration could benefit you business.
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